Dubai has no shortage of Indian restaurants, from casual streetside gems to fine-dining spots set in designer hotels. Located in Souk Al Bahar, Patiala is carving out a niche for itself in the middle ground, but, as I recently discovered, it’s far from average. Its first selling point is an intimate bar manned by a very knowledgeable bar tender knocking out signature cocktails. Moving on to the main event, the menu consists of contemporary, mainly northern Indian cuisine. The most outstanding dishes are the Saag Patiala Paneer (Dhs95) and the Patiala Dal (Dhs45) – Chef Sanjay Bahl’s signatures. They are robust and full of flavour with the delicate, individual tastes of good quality spices and ingredients you’d expect from Indian dining of this ilk. Another recommendation is the Gosht Tashtari (Dhs165), lamb cooked three ways, which is as visually appealing as it is tasty. Next time I’d steer clear of the pepper Wagyu masala (Dhs255) – while the flavour was spot-on the meat lacked the tenderness I’d expect from Wagyu. Finish off with the chef’s special pistachio kulfi – a light and delicate dessert that doesn’t leave you feeling overly full.
Saag Patiala Paneer Dhs95
INFO: Souk Al Bahar, 04 451 9151, www.patiala.ae.